2008 on pace to be worst for Georgia storm damage - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

2008 on pace to be worst for Georgia storm damage

Posted: Updated:

May 23, 2008

Atlanta -- In just the first five months, damages have already totaled $450 million in insured losses.

According to Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine, damage from the tornado that struck downtown Atlanta March 14th has surpassed $300 million. Twisters on Mother's Day caused another $125 million in damage as storms hit 14 counties and Tuesday's damage to 1500 homes is another $25 million.

When storms hit commercial buildings, like the tornado that destroyed Sumter Regional Hospital last year, damage totals climb quickly.

"If it goes through Atlanta, then there's a lot more infrastructure that's taken out, but we still receive our share of damage here," said Deputy EMA Director Jim Vaught. "We monitor it very closely after the event we do immediate assessments of it and provide that information to GEMA so we can be eligible for reimbursement if reimbursement is forth coming."

The state's single worst natural disaster was south Georgia's flood of 1994 where damages topped $500 million and 33 people were killed. Only five people have died as a result of this year's storms.

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